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Recap / Community S2 E07: Aerodynamics of Gender

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Current Synopsis: Troy and Jeff discover a hidden trampoline of tranquility and Pierce will stop at nothing to learn their secret. Meanwhile the ladies enroll in a Women Studies course and Abed tags along. When the ladies are humiliated by a clique, they use Abed's ability to analyze humans to get revenge. This may be too much of a good thing in both situations.

List Tropes:

  • Affably Evil: Joshua seems to be a kindly groundskeeper who lets Jeff and Troy use his trampoline before being outed as A Nazi by Any Other Name.
  • Alpha Bitch: Megan (Hilary Duff) and her Girl Posse. Subverted when Britta, Annie and Shirley turn Abed into one to counter them. Re-verted when Britta, Annie and Shirley become Alpha Bitches themselves, which leads to Abed insulting them, then getting out of control and insulting everyone at Greendale.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Abed can pick out a girl's imperfections from just a glance. This escalates to the point of deconstruction and He Who Fights Monsters, however.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Joshua turns out to be a Neo-Nazi.
  • Brick Joke: "Punch your butt" refers to Troy actually punching zombie-Pierce in the butt in the previous episode.
  • Break the Haughty: The girls' original plan is to do this to the Alpha Bitch with Abed, but in the end it backfires on them.
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  • Breaking Speech: The burn that ends up destroying Abed's "targeting computer" amounts to this.
  • Buffy Speak: Troy refers to a pair of pruning shears as "bush scissors".
  • Casting Gag: Casting Hilary Duff (Lindsay Lohan's historical rival) in an episode parodying Mean Girls.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Pierce's dragonflier.
  • Clue, Evidence, and a Smoking Gun
    Troy: Ohmygod. Joshua was racist! That came out of nowhere!
    Jeff: ...did it?
    [several flashback cuts in succession]
    Joshua: A place free from darkness.
    Joshua: And some are just natural jumpers.
    Joshua: [indicating a swastika tattoo on his chest] It's going to be a maze.
  • Enhance Button: Subverted. Pierce has Leonard zoom in on... instructions for how to extract photos from a spy cam.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Megan at the end, after insulting Abed in order to shut him down. The look on her face indicated she was either grateful to Abed for giving her power back and/or that she felt bad about doling out such harsh comments.
  • Failed a Spot Check / Selective Obliviousness: Upon discovering Joshua's racism, Troy and Jeff muse that it seemed to come out of nowhere (which it very much did for the audience), before wondering whether it did. Among the incredibly subtle hints they failed to spot? A rather large Swastika tattoo on his chest.
  • Flashback-Montage Realization: When Troy comments that Joshua's racism came out of nowhere, Jeff recalls two comments that didn't sound racist out of context ("A place free from the darkness", "Some people are natural jumpers") and Joshua showing off a tattoo of a swastika (which the audience didn't see before).
  • Flipping the Table: Chang loves insults. At the end, he gets so excited he flips a table. (Note that the tables are bolted down...)
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Many Freeze Frame Bonuses of Abed's Robo Cam.
    • Pierce mentions that there's a little man controlling the remote-control helicopter. This would later turn into part of hallucinations caused by his drug addiction throughout the middle portion of Season 2.
    • "Let me just make sure Pierce isn't hovering around..."
    • Joshua's racist bent was foreshadowed by several statements which simply seemed like invoked Unfortunate Implications at the time:
      "And some are just natural jumpers."
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: A closer look at Abed's Robo Cam reveals following details:
  • Gender-Separated Ensemble Episode: The women try to invoke this and are annoyed at first when Abed tags along anyways.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: After Pierce's interference causes Jeff to throw the basketball onto the girls' table, they pack up and leave.
    Jeff: "Where are you guys going?"
    Britta: "Away from your symbolically invasive balls to a women's studies class."
  • Happy Place: The secret trampoline on campus discovered by Jeff and Troy.
  • Have You Told Anyone Else?: When the groundskeeper Joshua finds that Jeff and Troy have discovered his secret illegal trampoline...
    Joshua: Who else saw you come in?
    Troy: If we say "nobody", are you going to stab us with your bush scissors?
  • Heart in the Wrong Place: Subverted. Pierce tells Troy and Jeff that "Paradise exists. Right here.", pointing to the outer part of his left chest. The two agree, assuming that he meant the heart. But the next scene reveals that Pierce was pointing to the medication in his shirt pocket.
  • Hoist by Their Own Petard: Annie, Britta and Shirley start abusing their power over Abed by labelling whoever they don't like as 'bitches', prompting him to insult them. This ends up backfiring on them when he (quite accurately) defines them as being bitches and starts insulting them. And then, one thing leads to another and he's insulting everyone. Once the dust has settled, a certain slice of humble pie is required from all.
  • Hypocrite: The girls don't come out of this episode incredibly well. After making snide comments about Jeff and Troy's competitiveness during basketball, their subplot explores their competitiveness towards other women. While they start off trying to take down a group of bullies a peg or two, their exploitation of Abed leads them to become Drunk with Power and become bullies themselves. And while they callously exploit Abed's ability to spot the flaws of others with laser-sharp precision, they're insulted and horrified when he starts doing it to them.
  • Hypocritical Humor: The episode opens with Annie, Britta and Shirley making some veiled snide comments about Troy and Jeff as they play basketball disguised as a conversation about male competitiveness as expressed through sports, in which Britta argues that it's an attempt to destroy their 'sensitivity' towards others. Their portion of the plot deals with female competitiveness as expressed through exploiting anxieties, which leads them to lose their sensitivity towards others by becoming bullies.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Abed (who has incidentally been viewing the world through a very Terminator-esque Robo Cam all episode) gives Megan his "destruct codes".
  • I Did What I Had to Do: It's pretty clear by the look on Megan's face after she's finished using Abed's 'destruct codes' against him that even she found it a bit too much and didn't really enjoy doing it, but someone had to stop Abed.
  • I Reject Your Reality: Shirley can't quite bring herself to concede that Abed, the whole point of his part in their subplot being his ability to zero in on someone's flaws with laser-sharp focus and accuracy, might have been on to something when he targeted her weight.
    Britta: We became the kind of women that we hate and we turned you into a monster.
    Shirley: The kind of monster that makes outlandish statements about someone's weight. Those kind of things hurt. Even when they're not true.
  • Jerkass Has a Point:
    • Leaving Pierce out of the trampoline doesn't exactly reflect well on Jeff and Troy. But when Pierce does eventually does discover it, he throws his weight around, breaks the rules, bullies Troy into double-bouncing him, breaks his own legs and manages to get the trampoline removed and destroyed, thus ruining it for everyone and completely justifying why Jeff and Troy excluded him in the first place.
    • Abed's insults towards Britta, Shirley and Annie are quite hurtful, but he's entirely right to point out that they've become the exact same kind of cruel bullies they were originally trying to stop.
  • Kick the Dog: Pierce threatens to loudly tell everyone about the trampoline, purely to spite Jeff and Troy for being happy and excluding him from something. Then he makes Troy double-bounce him, only to immediately cry out about the illegal trampoline when he injures himself. Jeff is inches away from murdering him for ruining their paradise, and understandably so.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Pierce is ruining the trampoline, making Troy cry in order to get double-bounced. He gets his double bounce and lands in a dumpster, breaking both his legs.
    • Shirley, Britta and Annie using Abed as a weapon against the Alpha Bitch Girl Posse also backfires on them when they become the Alpha Bitch Girl Posse, which in turn leads to Abed starting to insult them.
    • Abed invokes this by giving the lead Alpha Bitch a series of 'destruct codes' (i.e. a list of his weaknesses and insecurities) that can be used against him to stop him acting like an insult-robot.
    • Joshua eventually gets fired from Greendale for his illegal trampoline.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Jeff and Troy are struck by the fact that the administration feels the need to not just take the trampoline away, but carve it up with chainsaws.
    Jeff: Hmm. That seems a little excessive.
  • Logic Bomb: Abed tells Megan how to sabotage his runaway bitchiness by calling him out as an unemotional robot who's only doing it to try to fit in. Targeting System: Offline.
  • Magical Negro: Inverted and subverted. The kind-hearted old groundskeeper with a magical secret is emphatically not black. Indeed, he's a white supremacist.
  • Meaningful Name: Subverted—"Joshua," like "Jesus," means "Savior." When we meet Joshua, we're meant to think he's some kind of a wise sage. We repeat, he's a white supremacist!
  • Meditation Powerup: Jeff and Troy after discovering the secret trampoline.
  • Mondegreen: Britta mishears Abed say "RoboCop" and continues with the Pun, "Row Boat Cop." However, she covers it up with the workable quip, "Sharice is a bad rowboat. Sink her."
  • Mood Lighting: There is a soft-glow effect and the use of overly saturated colors for scenes inside the maze.
  • Moral Myopia: Britta, Annie and Shirley all get a case of this when they start acting like the Alpha Bitches they had Abed dispose of.
    Shirley: Bad isn't that bad when you're doing it to bad girls.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Who knew trampoline jumping could be a life-changing exercise?
  • Murder Is the Best Solution: An aborted attempt. Jeff looks longingly at some hedge clippers when Pierce learns of the secret trampoline, and starts to go for them when Troy stops him.
  • Murderous Malfunctioning Machine: Shirley, Britta, and Annie inadvertently turn Abed into one of these by pointing out the logical extreme of his brutal truth-telling, causing him to go haywire and start indicriminately insulting anyone in his vicinity.
    Annie: We were just joking! If that makes us bitches, we're all bitches.
    Abed: [thinking] Affirmative. You're all bitches. [spinning unpredictably and doling out monotone insults] Nice shirt. It'd look better on a girl. Pick a bronzer. You're not fooling anybody with that band-aid; we know it's a zit. You're all bitches. Triple-bitches. Bitch. Bitch. Bitch. Hey, bitch! Bitch. Bitch. I'm a bitch, you're a bitch...
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Jeff is normally sensitive about his clothes. That he shrugs off Abed's insults without a word clues in Pierce that something is wrong.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Shirley's comment "bad isn't that bad when you're doing it to bad girls" as seen through Abed's Robo Cam view.
  • Pure Is Not Good: The lesson Troy and Jeff learn? Purity that demands exclusion isn't real purity.
  • Robo Cam: Abed sees everything through this after he has turned into "Insult RoboCop". His POV has a computer readout instantly detailing his target's flaws and more. See Freeze-Frame Bonus for details.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sore Loser: Jeff kicks the basketball away out of frustration after losing to Troy. The latter had it coming though with his Unsportsmanlike Gloating.
  • Spit Take: Chang does one after a particularly good burn.
    Chang: "Damn, that dis made me snarf, yo!"
  • Start of Darkness: Pierce getting his legs broken, beginning his drug addiction and increasingly erratic behavior.
  • Stat-O-Vision: Part of Abed's Robo Cam is a bitch rating and a power level indicator.
  • Straw Feminist: At the beginning, at least; the rather snide deconstruction the ladies make of the basketball game Troy and Jeff are playing and what it suggests about their masculinity is apparently inspired by the gender studies class they've agreed to take together, and they're collectively a bit put out and try to exclude Abed when he decides to join them. Ironically, the rest of the episode revolves around them becoming stereotypical Alpha Bitch bullies primarily targeting other women.
  • Tears of Joy / Cry Laughing: Troy and Jeff when they're overcome with emotion at the transformative power of the trampoline.
  • We Want Our Jerk Back: Inverted. The girls get Abed to start insulting mean girls, then he starts insulting everyone, and they want their nice kook back. So does Abed.
  • White Man's Burden: At the end Jeff feels "white guilt" and invites Troy to some ice cream.
  • Women Are Wiser: Inverted: Jeff and Troy's subplot leads to them becoming relaxed, calm and pleasant, while the subplot with the girls leads to them becoming spiteful Alpha Bitch bullies.


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